First off let me introduce myself. I’m Charles Weinraub AKA The Handsome Home Buyer. I’ve purchased over 400 houses the past five years and I’m handsome.

Without question, finding quality distressed houses to purchase is the hardest part of being a real estate investor. Before I purchased my first flip, I spent four years training with a mentor and made dozens of offers each week before I landed my first flip. The entire process was torturous! I ran from open house to open house and spent hours upon hours scouring the MLS and combing Craigslist. BUT, once I got that very first deal I was off to the races. Now I am the number one Fix and Flip investor in Long Island. 

In this blog  I’m going to share some of my secrets for finding that first deal whether you have deep pockets to invest in marketing or you’re stretching every penny. By the way most new investors don’t have a marketing budget to advertise or pay for the leads. But, they do have the time. Let’s get started!


Your network is your most valuable asset. Knowing the right people can get you tickets to a sold-out event, keep you out of jail, land you a table at the hottest restaurant, and of course hook you up with money-making real estate deals. Three quarters of all my deals come from my network which consists of attorneys, wholesalers, real estate agents, lenders, business owners, and more.  

So, how do you expand your network as quickly as possible?  In my early years I attended an average of 3-5 networking events every single week. Was it a lot of work? You bet it was. But now whenever anyone in my network gets a real estate opportunity, I’m the first on their list to call. The important question is, why me? The reason is pretty simple. I selflessly give them value while creating a fun and financially beneficial relationship. The best part about nurturing these relationships is that they last for decades and provide endless opportunities.

Driving, Walking, or Riding for Dollars

This is an excellent way to identify off market real estate deals.  Simply walk, ride a bike, or drive through your target neighborhoods looking for vacant houses or ones that show signs of distress. Compile a list of these houses and pull the information off MLS public record.  Remember, you’re a real estate agent who has access to far more information than the public.  Find the owner’s name and then use a free skip tracing software to find their phone number.  Just Googe  “Free Skip Tracing” and you’ll find a bunch. Then just pick up the phone and start dialing.

Persistence is key. I’ve closed deals that required contacting the owner every month for two years. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. Keep calling. 


Social media is by far the most underutilized FREE marketing tool available to everyone. It’s helped me raise money to purchase property, become a local influencer, and has brought me a ton of real estate deals. People spend most of the day scrolling through their phones, so you better start popping up everywhere. Every day I receive 6-12 messages from people on social with opportunities to purchase a house, land or commercial property. This is a direct result of my team and I generating literally 50-100 pieces of content a day on all platforms.

You may not have a social media team, but you undoubtedly have a phone and a lot to talk about.  So, press record and start documenting your journey as a real estate investor, realtor, and you add the rest!


Auctions are a proven method of purchasing investment properties.  Depending on what part of the country you invest in, auctions can be conducted daily, both online and in person.  These auction types include tax deed, mechanic lien, foreclosure, sheriff, bankruptcy, and more.  Proper due diligence is key when bidding,  but when done right auctions are a great strategy that can provide a lot of deals.


Although the market is extremely competitive there are still deals to be found on the MLS.  The key is to be diligent, quick, and offer aggressively. In my first year in real estate, I purchased 11 houses that were listed on the MLS.  My strategy went like this:  First, I set up a prospect search to receive a list of the properties that were listed the day before. Second, I would check newly listed properties every single hour during the day. This way, if a hot house hit the market, I’d be the first to make an offer. Lastly, I would make offers on every house that was within 20% of my maximum allowable offer and that had been listed for at least three months. This ended up being a very good strategy for three reasons:

  1. The house was listed just high enough where investors wouldn’t be interested.
  2. The houses required more work than an end user was willing to tackle at that price
  3. The houses were prime for a price reduction.

If you have any questions about real estate investing, you can text me at 516-871-3511.  Best of luck with your investment goals.

Checkout my YouTube channel for non-stop real estate investing content!